'I'm the future of Indian music industry'

'I'm the future of Indian music industry'


I was the first to introduce Indian audiences to rock and pop music. My song Paree Hoon Mai kicked off the trend of Indipop in the country. With Piya Tu Ab Toh Aaja featuring the legendary Asha Bhonsle, the audience got the taste of remixes for the first time ever.

With Colonial Cousins, I made fusion music familiar to the music lovers. Then I brought the Coke Studio which is loved and appreciated by one and all. Whatever I do becomes a trend. In fact, I’m a trend in myself! I’m the future of music scene in India. The feeling of being the trendsetter makes me feel special,” says Lesle Lewis, popularly known as “Les” in the music industry.

Lewis who began his career in the entertainment world in the 1980s feels that Bollywood music has surpassed all independent types of music in the country and is the only music that sells. Despite this notion, Les is all set to launch his single track titled Dil Chahe Desi Girl that he claims will underline the never-seen-before Lesle Lewis.

“Everything is Bollywood now. No music other than that finds place. Today you have many different kinds of music like - ghazals, Indian classical music, romantic music, emotional music but all of these belong to one common genre i.e Bollywood. It is very difficult for any independent music to make room. There was a time when singles were a successful subject but time has changed now and Bollywood is the new mantra of success,” expresses the 54-year-old.

“I’ve been in the industry for more than three decades now. All over the years, I’ve been working for others, according to their preferences and likings. After so many years, I felt the need to do something for myself. I wanted to compose such a song that can reveal the real me, a musician who is unseen and unheard by anyone. Therefore, I came up with my single Dil Chahe Desi Girl which I dedicate to myself. Audience will get to see a crazy and rocking Lesle Lewis through this single. And if someone doesn’t like the song, they are free to change the channel. There is unlimited music which is now offered and if the audience is not convinced with my work, they can simply ignore it,” he adds.

The musician has recorded 40 more such singles which will be released in due course of time. Les has also teamed up with Disney India as a music director to bring the timeless classic Beauty and the Beast to the India stage for the first time ever to which he comments, “I feel privileged that out of the innumerous musicians, Disney India chose me for their venture. To work with an international team will be a completely different experience. Also this confers a big responsibility and challenge to cater to their needs.”

Lewis together with Hariharan formed the band Colonial Cousins whose unique brand of music fused Indian and Western musical genres instantly won the hearts of young and old alike. However, it has been a long time since the band was seen playing. “It was an era when Colonial Cousins took Indian classical music on a global platform. But now the time has gone. Our last album was released four years back but it was not accepted by the audience in the way they did in the early days of the band. “Agar audience sunegi nahin, to hum gaaye kiske liye?” he says.    

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